3 years ago

Sequence-encoded colloidal origami and microbot assemblies from patchy magnetic cubes

C. Wyatt Shields, Orlin D. Velev, Koohee Han, Nidhi M. Diwakar, Gabriel P. López, Bhuvnesh Bharti

Colloidal-scale assemblies that reconfigure on demand may serve as the next generation of soft "microbots," artificial muscles, and other biomimetic devices. This requires the precise arrangement of particles into structures that are preprogrammed to reversibly change shape when actuated by external fields. The design and making of colloidal-scale assemblies with encoded directional particle-particle interactions remain a major challenge. We show how assemblies of metallodielectric patchy microcubes can be engineered to store energy through magnetic polarization and release it on demand by microscale reconfiguration. The dynamic pattern of folding and reconfiguration of the chain-like assemblies can be encoded in the sequence of the cube orientation. The residual polarization of the metallic facets on the microcubes leads to local interactions between the neighboring particles, which is directed by the conformational restrictions of their shape after harvesting energy from external magnetic fields. These structures can also be directionally moved, steered, and maneuvered by global forces from external magnetic fields. We illustrate these capabilities by examples of assemblies of specific sequences that can be actuated, reoriented, and spatially maneuvered to perform microscale operations such as capturing and transporting live cells, acting as prototypes of microbots, micromixers, and other active microstructures.

Publisher URL: http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/3/8/e1701108

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701108

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.